“To create a new world, we must first create a new dream.”
It takes courage to create a new dream. Even more, though, to then actually step out and live that dream into the world – especially when no one else has caught onto your vision just yet – takes huge courage, massive commitment, and an enormous willingness to be vulnerable. It takes the readiness to risk standing alone, being misunderstood, and to fail.
Eeeish. If it’s so daunting, why even bother with a new dream in the first place?
Well, sometimes we feel we just must. Perhaps we have some inner prompting or vision that simply won’t go away.
For instance, I’ve been stalked by a vision of leading or guiding people in some way – maybe it’s teaching or educating, I’m not sure – for years. And, as you might rightly guess, this vision involves putting myself out there in the world, out in front of groups of people – which, for someone like me who’s more of an introvert is not the easiest thing to do. But the vision won’t leave me alone just yet. So that’s one reason to bother: because it’s part of who one is becoming.
Here’s another reason to bother: other times (like with the state of our world today), the shared dream that got us all here is not the dream that will take us where we need to go.
In her book, The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist writes:
“The dream we have had in the modern world… is a dream of more – more factories, more companies, more freeways, more houses, more money, more buildings, more cars, more everything. [The] wise elders and shamans point out that that dream is now becoming a nightmare rippling across our great earth, and wreaking havoc.”
Truly. We are in a critical time where the old dream is dying (or perhaps even dead), and there’s a new dream lying in wait, wanting – no, needing – to be born.
The Great Turning
Eco-philospher, activist, buddhist scholar and all-around amazing teacher Joanna Macy calls this time the “Great Turning“, or the pivotal moment in which we find ourselves now, turning from an old way of life to a new one. She writes:
“The Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.
A revolution is underway because people are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world. We have the technical knowledge, the communication tools, and material resources to grow enough food, ensure clean air and water, and meet rational energy needs. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now.
If we truly are in the Great Turning, I assert that our dreams – that is, our life-sustaining and life-furthering visions, our inner creative whisperings that add to life, our fleeting yet glowing intuitive nudges – are of utmost importance now.
Dreams as Elixir
Let me be even more clear: our dreams – yours and mine – are part of the elixir that’s needed to help move us from where we are now to the next, greater dream.
No pressure, really….
You’re a real, living dream-catcher
Instead of succumbing to images that we’re force-fed by our culture and media, what if we consciously rejected those images and instead turned our attention toward our dreams, dreams that will create a healthier, more thriving world for all of its creatures?
Perhaps they are dreams of community, of connection, of life-honoring jobs or life-giving work environments. Or dreams of nurturing rituals for self or family, or practices that honor the land and her creatures.
Geneen Marie Haugen, writer, wilderness wanderer, scholar and guide writes this:
“Human direction is largely shaped by the strongest, most repeated images, which now include war, murder, terrorism, climate catastrophes, iPhone, twitter, social media, selfies. When the human capacity to alter planetary systems has become, as Brian Swimme and others have noted, equivalent to a geological force, the content of our own thoughts and imaginations matters. Filling the noosphere with images of possibility includes the possibility that we might attune ourselves to conversation with the wilder Others, to the possibility that an intelligent Earth might guide us.”
The possibility that an intelligent Earth might guide us… Wow! Imagine that: what if, by paying attention to the dreams and visions that move through us, we’re being guided by Earth itself? What if we are real, living dream-catchers?
Our dreams do matter.
It’s up to us now – you and me – to listen deeply to what’s being dreamt through us….to those dreams that light us up and make us more alive.
It’s up to us now to take back our attention from the dreams of “fear” and “more” and turn it back toward the dreams of “love” and “enough”; toward the life-giving, life-enhancing realm of our own imaginations.
It’s up to us now to stand with our dreams, for surely, we – you and me – are the dream of the Earth.
May we each have the willingness to catch our dreams, and the courage, commitment and heart to act on them.